Dating a new person can be fun, exciting and even intoxicating. The dating process starts out full of possibilities and hopes, BUT if you don’t understand the purpose of dating you could be setting yourself up for a crash landing. Achieve what you want out of dating by understanding the purpose. The dating process is a discovery process, it’s not designed for anything else. While dating you want to discover 100% who that person is at their authentic core.
Authentically discovering who a person is means you don’t coerce behavior. Learn who they are and what they like through conversation instead of mandates. The problem with mandates is they cause the other person to manufacture behavior conducive to your standard. Nothing wrong with having standards. When I am life coaching my clients I often coach them through setting healthy boundaries and establishing strong standards. However, don’t use your standards as mandates. Use your standards instead as guidelines to determine if that person is someone you want to continue dating. In the first date, they don’t need to know your long list of mandates. What are mandates? Take a look and see if any of these have ever crossed your lips:
- When I get married, I want to have kids right away. (It’s the first date! You don’t even know if you like them.)
- I hate smokers. (She hides the cigarettes)
- I only date Christians. (He dusts off his bible.)
- If you’re not a gym bunny I can’t date you. (She runs out to get a gym membership unless of course, your name is Brenda Underwood. In that case, you say, “Check Please!”)
- Drinking is an absolute RED FLAG. (Duly noted, don’t invite her to any parties.)
- I don’t have sex before I am married. (Turns this into a challenging game for some men. Just keep your cookies in the box and see how he acts.)
- If you can’t cook I can’t bring you home. (Don’t be surprised if she has her girlfriend cooking dinner for the two of you before you arrive.)
Okay before you start blowing up my in box, again standards are a good thing. I’m just saying, see if they already possess the attributes you are looking for before you give them the code of conduct. Don’t lead, don’t guide, just discover and at the same time let them discover you.
This means that you don’t put up a facade. Let them see the true authentic you. Not your representative, the future you, you hope to be one day down the yellow brick road. The real you, you are today lumps, bumps, and all your beautiful glory. Eventually the real you will surface and imagine everyone’s surprise when the other you shows up for dinner.
I’ll be honest, showing the true authentic you requires you to be comfortable in your own skin. That’s the only way you can present yourself fully as you are, not concerned about whether or not they’re going to like you. Be YOU! This comes from a place of confidence and self-love, that can’t be manufactured. A facade is deceptive, manipulative and will always create drama in a relationship, if not a bitter break up. Save yourself the time and heartache, BE REAL – NOT RAW.
Breaking down who people really are can be a little tricky because society has taught us how to behave in order to get what we want. The crazy thing is we fall in love with a person’s representative and when the real person shows up we are dissatisfied in the relationship. Marrying the person’s representative is one of the reasons America has a 50%+ divorce rate. The dating process is about getting to know the real person minus the sex. Sex clouds judgment and perception, making it difficult to see the red flags that are deal breakers.
“You are sexually compatible with far more people than you are relationally compatible with. Several million to one.” The New Rules for Love Sex & Dating by Andy Stanley
At the end of the day, it’s about finding out who they really are and if you can love them without changing a single thing about them. If you come to the dating table with the mindset that you are going to change them, then you have the wrong mindset. There are no perfect people. Do yourself a favor before love settles into your heart and discover enough about the person to determine if you can accept them 100% with no alterations. The key is identifying the things that are non-negotiable for you. If these non-negotiables surface then you know not to invest any more time with them. If they are abusive in language and conduct then you automatically know to cut your losses and keep it moving. If they tell you they are not ready to get married, “NEXT”. Don’t try to convince them that you are the one that can change their mind, move on. Trust me dear, there are plenty of good men and women in this world. You only need to find one!
Value yourself enough to value your time, effort and love. There are exceptions to every rule but too many of us are giving away the code of conduct prematurely. Then we wonder why we didn’t know he was a functioning alcoholic or she was extremely insecure. Learn to have organic conversations with the motive of truly getting to know the person exactly as they are at the present time. You will thank yourself later and so will they. BE REAL – BU!
I hope this blog has encouraged you and if it has please like, share, and comment. Spread the love!
Enjoy this awesome song by Tori Kelly – Dear No One.